Election Night Surprises

- AMARILLO -- It's the day after for candidates who were seeking nominations election night.

        There were plenty of winners and losers and some races that won't be decided until the May runoff.

        Perhaps one of the biggest surprises Tuesday was the fact there will not be a runoff for Potter county judge.

        Many expected the five person race to extend to the May runoff.  Eventual winner Nancy Tanner herself was afraid it would go to a runoff, but, she predicted two weeks ago she would win it outright on election night and she did.

        She easily beat Bill Bandy 50% to 20%.  Tanner's biggest challenger was the 50% threshold.

        If just 36 of Tanner's votes had gone to any one of the other candidates, it would've forced a runoff between Tanner and Bandy.
        Tanner says it was the hard work of her all-volunteer staff who walked the county knocking on doors that pushed her to victory.

        Looking at vote totals from all 16 Potter county precincts, Tanner won every one of them.  Most of them by 2-to-1 margins, sometimes even more.

        Tanner says her first political campaign did turn negative toward her at times but, she holds no ill will for the other candidates.

        The other local surprise from Tuesday was the race for the Republican nomination for district 31 state senate.

        Long time incumbent Kel Seliger (R-Amarillo) was expected to win and he did.  The surprise is how close it was.  Seliger won by only 4.4%.

        Seliger says this race was nothing like he had ever seen before.

        He says because of the rifts in the Republican party, outside groups are funding negative campaigns against incumbents they don't feel are conservative enough.

        Seliger doesn't have a Democratic opponent in November but, he will face libertarian Steven Gibson in the general election.

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